• Expert Q&A: Rare dementias - Tues 3 March, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of rare dementias. It will be hosted by Nikki and Seb from Rare Dementia Support. If you have any questions about rare dementias, they will be here to answer them on Tuesday 3 March between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

Trying to get a diagnosis - newbie


Registered User
Jul 18, 2005
:) Hi Guys and gals, if this posting is too long please feel free to switch off! ;)

I was brought up by my Aunt and Uncle who live in the West Mids (I now live in Lincs, 100 miles away). My Aunt was always the one who 'wore the trousers' but everything seems to have changed in the last 18 months...

The first thing i noticed was this... whenever she came to visit she would love to pick my son up from school, pushing my young daughter in her buggy. But one day she left arrived at the school an hour early, in the pouring rain and stood under the tree for an hour....I had written down what time she should pick my son up so I was quite surprised that this had happened.

Gradually, at each visit I noticed the following: she went to the shops in the car and 'forgot' how to drive, she has no interest in getting visitors during the day (she is 71 and my uncle who is 68 still works) and stands looking out of the window most of the time wringing her hands, she can't remember things we have told her 5 minutes beforehand, she can't remember the date of my brother's upcoming wedding, she can't write any more, she cannot follow any conversation you have with her, she can't remember names, places or simple things like what the fridge is, she is giving people in shops way too much money and telling them to keep the change.......the list goes on and on.

I first printed some details off about Al;zheimers and dementia and showed them to my uncle back in May. We then sat her down and said we were really worried about her and wanted her to see a doctor for a check up. She refused point blank and got really upset saying there was nothing wrong with her, she was just a bit forgetful! Well, my Uncle is scared of upsetting her so he hasn't pushed the issue which i find very frustrating, so a couple of weeks ago I broke down on the phone to her and she eventually said she'd go to the doctor, which she did.

She was referred to a clinic for blood and urine tests. So...I was visiting again last week after she had refused again to go to the clinic. I ended up acting more like a parent with an unruly child and told her she was coming with me to the clinic...refusal.....I said she had no choice- I had okd it with my kids school for them to be absent and she WAS going to come with me......ANGRY refusal....at this I could not hold back the tears any longer and I said to her that if she wasn't going to come with me I couldn't go back to the West Mids again. At this I left in hysterics. After about half an hour she came to me and put her arms around me and said she was sorry she'd upset me so much, she would go to the clinic. I was so relieved, I had NEVER had such a blazing row with her before..

So, the next day she was ready and set to go for the clinic. We were in and out in 5 minutes and it seemed like i'd got my old Aunt back. She was laughing and joking and engaging in conversation again but as the day wore on she gradually deteriorated. Today the test results have come back all clear, which I suppose is a blessing on the one hand but now it seems that we are faced with the fact that it is definitely a mental problem. My uncle says he is going to the doctors tomorrow for advice but i can't be sure that he will.

All along he has been covering up for her and namby pambying around not wanting to upset her too much and all the time she is getting worse

After you have read the info above what do you think i should be doing? I am at my wits end and have been brought to tears by some of the postings on this forum. I feel that my uncle should give up work and keep her company during the day but I think he finds it easier to stick his head in the sand. We have always been such a close family, and they really are my 'parents' but i feel that things are never going to be the same again and i am mourning the loss of the Aunt i knew already.

Thanks for sticking with me through this extra-long posting and any advice from this invaluable forum would be a huge help.


Registered User
May 20, 2004
Hello Widget

once the physical checks come out clear the gp will likely look at the memory side. Make sure he has all the facts, it helps to write down every last symptom and let him have them as invariably we never get the whole picture across when left to just respond on the day and it is often difficult to own up to how bad something is - the natural tendancy is to play it down. How many times have you met someone in the street who asked how you are and you automatically said "fine thanks" ignoring the fact you've had a rotten cold, a bad back, the cat just died etc etc!

Reading through old threads on this site will help make you aware that you are not alone and someone out there will have already gone through a similar scenario to the one you are now facing.

good luck


Registered User
Jul 18, 2005
My thoughts are with you


Thank you for replying to my post. My heart goes out to you - I know exactly how you feel. What a horrible situation this is. I'm worried sick about my mother but also about my father. He is 78 years old and has high blood pressure and I am terrified the stress with my mum will cause his health to suffer. He gets so frustrated that this turns to anger when she won't believe him. I really don;t know what to do next.

Please feel free to contact me if you want to chat.

God bless


Registered User
Jul 18, 2005
Hi again!
Oh the anger......! My uncle gets so ratty with her, it must be sheer frustration. But he's also getting ratty with everyone else who voices concerns about her, i've just heard from my brother that tonight he's stormed off from his next door neighbour who tried to offer some advice (she works with the elderly in a care home and sees so much of this)
Please let me know how you get on, I hope you can sway your mum into going to the doctors (even if you lie to get there!! By the way taking her to see a lady doctor could help)
By the way where abouts in Scotland are you? My hubby is from Fife and we lived in Moray for 7 years, moving down here 2 yrs ago. We miss Scotland loads but the bonus is we're closer to my aunt now


Registered User
Dec 11, 2003
Tully, Qld, Australia
Dear Widget,

Your Uncle is probably so worried that his concern is being expressed in ratty behaviour and denial of what is really happening. Do try to keep on encouraging him to speak to the GP again. The GP will be able to arrange for an assessment for your Aunt and then help to put your family in touch with the Community Psychiatric Team for the future.

Best wishes,


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